Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Rent-A-Goat

The way-back backyard with Juniperus viginiana and bush honeysuckle



I need a herd of goats to clean out the way back in our backyard. I read about a man in Colorado who rented his goats to folks who needed pastures and fields cleared. A few dollars a day per goat. I can afford that. It would be cheaper than hiring a crew of six. I figure a few goats for a few days will clear the way back of all the honeysuckle that has taken over. You know they can eat up to 8 pounds of foliage a day. I checked, honeysuckle is not poisonous to goats.




But after a quick internet search (goats for rent) it seems I am over simplifying. Goats are not grazers, they are browsers, like our friend the deer...a bite here, a bite there until they jump over the fence and eat the very things you don't want them to eat. So it's not a few goats, its a big herd of goats that's needed. Taller goats to eat the top layers, mid sized goats for middle layers and the baby goats for those lower layers. A herd costs more, and they need housing and fences. So the goat herder charges more. That's okay. But here's the rub! I would have to move my garden to Seattle? I can't find rent-a-goat in Tennessee.

Gail

17 comments:

  1. Gail:
    How nice to meet you! Thank you for stopping in at Ledge and Gardens and leaving a comment! Goats? Maybe a few pigs would clear out that brush! Looking forward to hearing about the progress with clearing. Do you sense a similarity in the names of our blogs? LOL

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  2. layanee,

    If I had known what the soil was like I might have passed on this house...

    My son is in RI....in Providence attending grad school. They are tired of the snow, too. It looks pretty for a while and then gets awfully grime covered...or so I hear.;-)

    Gail

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  3. why no goats for rent here? i bet if you find a good farmer, he would rent you his goats. there is a bunch of them up here. my father in maine used a goat to keep his lawn in check. that little guy did a good job and was practically maintenance free. plus, wildlife is a bonus-right?

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  4. layanee's garden is nice isn't it? i have visited it because of the name 'ledges'. where i am from in maine that is the main gardening soil.

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  5. Tina,

    The goat thing has been a family joke since I injured my back and took a break from the less public areas. Now I am ready to tackle the mess and I really need a crew to get in their and remove the exotics/invasives.

    There probably are farmers who would rent their goats here...just haven't found any online!

    Gail

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  6. Gail, thanks for the laugh! Do goats eat poison ivy? That's the biggest problem here in any area that needs to be cleared.

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  7. Melanie,

    Yes they eat poison ivy! The hazard seems to be to the goat herder who gets the rash from his goat!
    Gail

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  8. Perhaps goats could clear my hillside for me! Or maybe I should just buy a couple and leave them up there. Although the other homeowners might not like that!

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  9. Dave,

    I say let's go for it.

    gail

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  10. Gail ? .. are you moving out west ?
    Boy .. you will have plants up to your eyeballs there girl !
    Yes .. goats ... quirky little creatures ya' think they would eat everything in sight too !
    Pygmy goats that we saw in Holland were so darn cute .. we always thought if we had the chance we would have them .. so far .. no room at the inn here .. have to win the lottery first ! LOL
    Cute post !
    Joy

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  11. Joy,

    No move for me, but those west coasters seem to find ways to cash in on the good ideas...glad you appreciated my humor.


    Gail

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  12. Goats!! We saw a story on the Chattanooga news about a herd of goats they use to eat the kudzu along the highway. They were attacked by dogs and now have a protector donkey who stands watch! It seems like such a good idea, maybe the goats were from Georgia, the news station, http://www.newschannel9.com/ covers a lot of northern GA stories as well as TN. Or maybe rent one of those DR bush hog type things like Nan at Hayefield uses.
    http://hayefieldhouse.com/

    Frances at Faire Garden

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  13. Frances,
    I will check it out. There is something organic and friendly about goats;-)

    Gail

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  14. That is too funny!! It's a good idea if you can keep them in the right spot. I didn't realize you could rent them. We have some fainting goats just up the road from our place. I think they are cute.

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  15. Anna,

    Glad you stopped by for a laugh! Apparently, you can rent anything on the west coast! Who knows if the Middle Tennessee farmer would;-)

    Gail

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  16. I've been doing a bit of research on goats lately. I think if you search for goats and Tennessee, and then look for a farmer near you, you might find one who would rent them to you. From their perspective, you are offering temporary, free range land. Invasives are certainly a pain. Recent research shows that bush honeysuckle will stop surrounding trees from growing or reproducing. Slow death for the forest.

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  17. Pcrucifer,

    I will try looking up goats again.

    bush honeysuckle blooms before everything else and closes up shop later in the fall. Unfortunately, it is a very successful invasive.

    Gail

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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